Hmm. I don’t seem to recall news that an Ivy League University offered a course about the Tea Party, but I’m sure I must have just missed it. The Internet is a vast and cavernous space, after all. Nevertheless, it’s true: Columbia University plans to offer a new class all about the Occupy movement — taught by Hannah Apel, an Occupy veteran. CBS New York reports:
The course begins next semester and will be divided between class work at Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus and fieldwork that will require students to become involved with the Occupy movement outside of the classroom.
The course will be called “Occupy the Field: Global Finance, Inequality, Social Movement” it will be run by the anthropology department.
Appel is a staunch defender of the Occupy movement, in her blog she said that, ““it is important to push back against the rhetoric of ‘disorganization’ or ‘a movement without a message’ coming from left, right and center.”
Appel told the New York Post that while her involvement with the movement will color the way she teaches it will not prevent her from being an objective teacher.
Can we please dispense with the academic and journalistic pretenses of objectivity? Again and again, I ask: What not just own the bias?
At any rate, this doesn’t surprise me, but it still manages to disappoint me. Why not a class on “popular protest movements” — team taught by a Tea Partier and an Occupier? Or, better yet, why not no such nonsensical anthropological class at all? Plenty of college graduates still don’t know the basics of history, philosophy, literature, mathematics and the rest of the subjects that comprise a classically liberal education.
It’s just Jan. 2, and we already have a story to rival “The Top 10 Outrageously Dumb Campus Moments of 2011.” Looks like 2012 will be a very blog-worthy year.